The New Neighbors
I allowed their lack of knowledge about the history of the community to bother me
I had watched the construction of their home from the window of my lake house over the course of three years. It was a beautiful home three doors down from ours on the lake. We completed construction of our place in 2001 when our kids were two and four years old. We enjoyed it as a family until my husband wanted to separate and moved into the lake house in 2015. Thus ended our time as a family there.
I introduced myself to the new neighbors from my kayak in 2016. I let them know I was Dirk’s wife as they had already met my husband. They were a bit older than us. Their new place was their retirement home. I was anxious to see the inside of the place but had no real relationship or contact with the new neighbors. My husband had socialized with them with his girlfriend. I had a few short conversations with them from our dock as they passed on a paddle board or kayak. They met my boyfriend when we attended a property owner’s association meeting together last summer. My husband had given me their cell phone number once when I planned to be at the lake alone as emergency contacts.
I texted them this past weekend asking for their shipping address for a friend who had done a painting of their home and wanted to send it. I took the opportunity to ask if they would mind if we came over to see the inside of their home I had admired from a distance.
I sat on their sofa next to my boyfriend admiring their beautiful view after touring the entire house. They had explained how well it worked for them when their grandchildren came to visit since the entire downstairs of the home was like a self contained kid’s apartment and they could all keep out of each other’s hair. Actually, Lynn explained it all as her husband was much quieter. She asked about my sons and mentioned she had met one of them last winter while ice skating on the lake. She mentioned something about wanting one of the twin girls next to our house to teach her how to ice skate. She had met the twins after they graduated college and started working. They were 5 years old when we started staying at the lake on weekends so our kids had grown up with them. Most of our neighbors at the lake have watched our kids grow up. She also told me about the man who had lived next door when they moved in then passed away. We knew him when his wife first became ill with ALS. I had met her before she became sick. When my sons were small, they spent time with this couple like they were local grandparents.
Lynn went on to tell me how much she loved my home and thought it will work similarly when my grandchildren come along because the house is big enough for everyone to stay out of each other’s way. I tried to imagine what she was talking about. Would I ever be at the lake with my husband, our children and our grandchildren? At one time I had certainly envisioned this. I very much doubt it will ever happen, but never say never.
I shook my head in agreement as I was feeling a bit sad to be reminded that my vision of my own “On Golden Pond” had been taken from me.
Lynn was obviously seeing the world through the lens of her own life, and ignoring some facts which perhaps made her uncomfortable.
Thank you for reading :)